part two ….
This strange, vague memory has haunted me many a time in my life. I’m looking through a window, and there is darkness all around me. I feel frightened and alone, and as I look out of this small window to the bright world outside, I feel panicky and stricken with fear. I’m looking at my mother, and I am filled with sorrow and worry. And everything seems to fade to black, fading into a dark fog, like a giant eye closing itself up and the memory is gone along with it.
For the longest time I wasn’t sure if this scene was from a movie I’d seen at some point in my life, or maybe a book I’d read. It was strange, and disconnected, and I couldn’t recall anything surrounding it, no context for what this memory stood for or what it belonged with.
It is my memory, actually. Many memories that I have – that people with MPD have – can be in the form of a snapshot; like a tiny picture in a photo album, or feel like a tiny snippet from a movie reel. This snippet felt like a movie for a very long time, until I was able to connect it to the girl I call Mexico.
When I was in second grade, my life was almost good. Sort of OK. I had many things around me that I enjoyed; friends next door that I played with, who invited me to their house where they had Spanish TV and lots of colorful decorations. I had neighbors on the other side who let me swim in their pool, and gave me Barbies they had outgrown, as if one can really ever outgrow dressing up tiny people. I had a semi boyfriend from Guam, and walked over the train tracks every day on the way to and from school, and Kumquat trees in the back of my house. Life was almost alright.
But then summer came, and I found myself kidnapped.
Well not really; but it felt that way to me. My mother was working a lot of hours at the time, and I don’t know where my dad was, working or doing school, but we had a baby sitter that watched us every day during the summer. She wanted to go to Mexico with a group from our church, and so she asked my mother if she could take us – me and my sister, ages eight and ten. Sure, says my mom. Why not. A week in Mexico, maybe two? This way of course she doesn’t have to plan out meal times, and she will have a respite from my never ending complaints about flea bites.
The trouble is, I don’t think anyone told me about this trip.
Suddenly one day I’m being herded onto a long, dark bus, and waving out the window at my mother, wondering if I am ever going to see her again. I know the people I am with in the bus, and of course, there is my sister, so it’s not as though I’m all that crazy right now. But I don’t quite understand what’s happening. Am I going to summer camp? Am I going to a new church? No, I guess I’m driving for hours and going to Mexico.
Not that it wasn’t fun or anything like that. I got a cool piggy bank I would never have gotten otherwise. I got to attend festivals and carnivals and watch my babysitter haggle with a man for the best prices over cookware. I got to sleep on a concrete floor in a sleeping bag and stay up all night while the wild dogs barked ferociously at the overgrown cockroaches. And I got to wonder if maybe I had been kidnapped and was going to be sold or donated to this orphanage I was being forced to work at.
And even though it was really only a week, and my sister seemed to have the time of her life on this trip, for me this excursion was full of fear and confusion and diarrhea from drinking the water. Because I have MPD, and the smallest thing – like telling your child she is going on a work vacation with her sitter and not, in fact, being sold as a slave or loaned out to a neighboring family for work needs – well those little things can be very important. Without this information, I’m messed up. For years and years I walked around feeling a little dead somewhere inside, because when I left on that bus and was dropped off in Mexico, that part of me never really came back. THAT girl, who didn’t know what was happening, never really made it back into my fold of people. She sort of turned into a little ghost; a hanger.onner, who is sort of part black blob of misty memory, and part ghost child with a ball and chain. That girl left home, never to return. Because sometimes MPDers can’t handle certain things, or are overwhelmed by situations. And she just got lost in Mexico, when the rest of me came back home on the bus.
And it’s OK now; I still love tacos and burritos and all Mexican foods, while completely hating sleeping on hard surfaces and when barking dogs can’t settle down. It’s a balance I try to live with. And I’m glad to have finally come to remember my little person Mexico, and be able to attach her back into my system a bit.
Still, it’s hard to lose a piece of yourself to the wild…to the dark and mysterious areas of the world out there. And the memories and experiences with this little one are yet to unfold all the way…who knows what interesting things she might recall in the future!
October 2, 2014
I did pretty good today. I didn’t quit the moment I walked into work, contrary to how I’d envisioned it the day before, with me throwing my name lanyard down on the desk and leaving everyone in the lurch trying to find a replacement for me for the day. Would have served them right, but I didn’t do it, so points for me.
Then, when I got yelled at for talking with a co-worker, I handled myself like a man. “OK” I said smiling, and didn’t even punch the person who yelled at me, though it is always clear any time of day that the other departments sit around and share Pinterest recipes and chat about weddings and homecomings while I am slaving away fighting off angry drunk men and trying to roust up bicycle thieves. And to top that off, I didn’t even trip this person as they walked away from me, though I probably could have sidelined them for a while if I had placed a kick to the shin just right.
And when my co-workers and I went out after work, I only had two glasses of water, instead of the seven forties I wanted to get.
So all in all, I did OK for the day.
i just finished watching HBO’s “Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart” and my heart is heavy.
the film premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, and makes an amazingly poignant statement about our lives today; what the hell is the media doing to our brains?
OK that probably isn’t actually THEIR statement…but as you watch the documentary, it is amazingly clear that TRUTH is not really easily definable or discovered once the media decides the verdict of things ahead of time.
i found this documentary fascinating, and disheartening at the same time. i saw a documentary not long ago about the woman who spilled coffee on her lap at a drive through McDonald’s and sued for damages. i actually remember that situation, and how frustrated everyone was about the situation ~ what world are we living in when people can’t own up to their own mistakes? but the reality was quite different than people made it out to be. and once celebrities and comedians got their routine into the coffee bit, all of America had made a decision on what happened with the coffee and the lap; including me. “Own up to your own mistakes, people” i might have shouted. “we shouldn’t be a sue-happy culture!”
we shouldn’t be a lot of things that we are. one thing i’m pretty certain that we as people will never really get to is smart. we are too quick to judge when there is no information available to judge with. we are gullible and hopeful and biased. we have long records of wrongs done to us, and not a long enough list of goods we have done for others.
i feel flustered today; because it doesn’t really seem like anything ever changes. there is just a big bunch of good, bad and ugly. so what is my two cents worth in the long run? and what kind of stupid question is that anyway, ’cause nobody even uses cents anymore! cents are so worthless you can’t even find the symbol on a modern day computer or device!
* sigh *
so, there’s nothing left for me to do, but just keep on fighting. it doesn’t really feel like it is doing anything. but i can’t just roll over and give up. i may not be able to conquer the darkness of stupidity, ignorance, and cruelty; but i can at least try to spread the healing blanket of acceptance, love, and kindness.
beyond that much, i will just have to have a decent margarita or a really big scoop of ice cream.
I’d love to be able to get ahold of Jake Gyllenhaal. What a minute, let me rephrase that. I mean, of course I’d love to get ahold of him; have you seen those big dreamy eyes and those perfectly pouty lips? So yes, I would LOVE to get a hold of Jake Gyllenhaal, but I’d really like to get in CONTACT with him and tell him thanks for what he’s done. Jake G has really and truly cured me of a long-standing childhood trauma.
I’ve had a little crush on Jake for a while now. When a co-worker heads out for lunch they’ll ask if I need anything, and I’ll reply “number 4 with extra hot peppers, and Jake Gyllenhaal please. Or if they’re out of peppers, just Jake is fine”. I haven’t stalked him in a parking lot, or posted his picture all over my walls, or sent him phone messages with my boobs in the file (because honestly, my boobs are pretty awesome and he should have the opportunity to experience them first hand really). (also I don’t have his number, any help with that is appreciated)
But I happened across this image of Jake and an axe.
Now what the hell is this for?
I suppose a hard core Gyllenhaaler would know exactly what this still is about, or promoting, or how it makes sense in the grand scheme of life. The image on its own is quite worthy of hanging in my room, so maybe I should start a pin-up collection, but the point for me is the axe.
I have written some about my shaky childhood traumas in my blog “Accidental Happiness” via wordpress, so people familiar with my blog know about alcoholism in my family, violence, insanity and other mayhem, and how I have coped with those issues and turned out a relatively sane and happy human being. And they have probably read about the axe.
When I was twelve, someone I adored and trusted completely attacked me with an axe. This person didn’t actually strike or dismember me, but he came within an inch or two of my body while swinging an axe full force, and he was a pretty strong, large man compared to my skinny twelve year old frame. So for the next hundred years of my life I’ve had issues with axes. This fear makes it pretty frustrating to watch movies that fall in the Horror genre, because inevitably there will be an axe involved somewhere. “One out of four horror movies must contain an axe” I think is how the Hollywood handout reads. So movies like the remake of Amityville Horror with Reynolds – beefy and handsome as he is – pretty much stop my brain and I leave the room in terror. And even in movies where the axe is just being used as an axe, to bust something open or to actually chop wood instead of chopping up bodies or opening skulls…I still have the mental freak outs and turn into a pile of weird afterwards.
But here is this beautiful image of Jake: a strong, handsome, interesting, probably kind and thoughtful human being. And he’s holding my arch nemesis, the dreaded axe. This image should give me the throw ups, or send me into hysterics, or unnerve me for a good day or two. But with all of that long-leggedness and fierce manliness he’s got going, he also has this ever-present Jake quality of chill. Good guy. Centered wise being thing. And I find I don’t want to run away in fear. I’m actually wanting to look at this beautiful human being, holding the scariest of things I have ever known, and think of what men are SUPPOSED to be like. Not creepy and dangerous, but glorious and capable. Not violent, chaotic and murderous, but protective, vital and healthy.
This might just be my favorite picture of all time now, of anyone, anywhere – because Jake Gyllenhaal has me thinking in a whole new way…maybe weapons are only as scary as the hands that hold them.
if i were to talk about my killing
what would i say?
what could i tell that would
alleviate the pain of
what song would set me free
and find me flying
what tricky story would wind
its legs around you
and run me far from
the smoking clutches of hell?
if i told you about
the day i was killed
and the way i was killed
truth would leak from this
crafted monastery of deception
and the whole of me
and be lost on the
dead. by denelle hobbs
*note* this is NOT the poem i mentioned in a recent blogpost “This girl might have been lost…” that poem i am still looking for, but found this one today so thought i’d put this up instead
This post is going to go in Mexico’s page, in the Girls section after it appears here.
*Disclaimer* Feel free – anyone who doesn’t understand what the hell I’m doing – to un-follow this blog. It’s potentially going to be weirder than a SI.FI movie (though notably, maybe not as weird as Sharknado; c’mon).
The following posting here is a journal entry from 2009. I have been working on a memoir for some years now, and am plugging away at finishing that off. But have also another book I started working on in 2009, and this entry came up after doing some work for that book.
Generally speaking – at least in my case – having Multiple Personality Disorder … dealing with these aspects of myself just constantly brings up trauma I have been trying to avoid looking at for my entire life. Please bear with annoying repetitive stories.
The people listed in the journal entry are several of my “alters” or other personalities/sides that I have been discovering. Some have given themselves names back when I was a little bitty thing, some I have dolled out a name or position to for want of something else to call them. Several of the names here were found in a coloring book, each alternate person claiming a piece of work by signing their name in cornflower blue or Indian red. Anyway…this is the beginning of Mexico’s story…
i’ve started writing “(potential title of memoir style book here)”.
it smells like shit.
it smells like cat shit outside my window, or else one of my cat’s just shat.
now i have a headache, and my jaw aches, and i had to take 3 ginger chews because of my stomache.
i know i need to look at this stuff. i’m trying. but people get fucking NERVOUS!
today i did a picture project.
i looked through a bunch of old pictures and developed piles that i thought looked like different me’s.
a pile of little ‘tiger’s
a pile of denny’s ( i think it was denny, she’s so cute and jodie foster)
there was nellie bly,
and nervous nellie
and cindy or christy who is really a precious little thing
and the eraser.
my sister even recognized the eraser. i told her it was her, and when she saw the last picture (of the group) she said “yep”.
she could tell that pictures of denny were different than pictures of the other girls, not just because the hair was different, but other things. she totally saw it.
nervous nellie seems to be the only one with a big flat spot on her forehead. i guess i must have wrote the ‘shooting myself’ poem about her. (i’ll try to remember to put this poem up later…)
several pictures that i found i cannot find names for.
and there are names still that i haven’t determined a face for.
scritchy. little bird. sandi.
but most disturbing of all is a singular picture of a girl i didn’t recognize. all of these pictures i’ve seen a million times. i’ve seen them in photo albums while i was growing up, or at gramma’s or uncle john’s, and at my own house once they’d been passed on to me.
so i’ve seen this picture before.
but i don’t know the girl.
everyone else i recognized.
oh i didn’t necessarily know the name of the person, but i recognized the eyes, or the expression, or something about the way the person stood, and i could say – even if i didn’t know the name – here, this picture goes with all of these other pictures of that girl.
there are some pictures that are of no one. there is just no one there, and so it is a generic body or a generic girl that is there. tobie said maybe that is after the eraser has come through. so that might be. or maybe the downloader is a separate person than the eraser, and those are pictures of the downloader. i don’t know.
i just know that this one picture of this one girl sort of shocked me. everyone else rang out in my ‘self’ as a me, something familiar, even if old and lost. something recognizable.
this girl wasn’t recognized.
this girl might have been lost.
perhaps she has disappeared.
perhaps she is the poster girl for all the times i’ve been missing: in pictures at school, when yearbooks get signed, when parts of my life mysteriously go missing. maybe she is one of those milk bottle children who go away and are never seen again.
i don’t know who she is.
but she hurt my heart today.
OK, for those of you who have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know a few things about it and me:
1. I have Multiple Personality Disorder
2. I have been saying I would post up pictures and details about this interesting condition for a while now
3. I haven’t done that yet.
Well, I moved in May, and since the move I have not been able to find the cord to my scanner that I need to upload pictures. So I’m going to have to either be creative and come up with something different for that, or really comb the boxes (or stores) for what I need. In the meantime, I’m creating a new page called “The Girls”, where I will be keeping information about this conglomeration of quacks known as me. In “The Girls” I will be posting said pictures and information about the various different personalities I deal with and walk among.
*disclosure* There are some psychiatrists who do not believe in Multiple Personality Disorder as a diagnosis. I’m not sure how many this totals up to, but there it is. It IS a weird situation; because what you have on the outside is someone you see at work everyday (or church, or home) who looks like the person you know. But on their end, they might not be the same person you dealt with yesterday. Or even an hour ago.
I myself have gone upstairs to use the bathroom, come back downstairs and been completely dumbfounded by a conversation my sister is having with me. “I don’t have any farking idea what you are talking about”, is my response. But in her reality, we just had a forty-five minute talk about something, and a short pee in the middle shouldn’t normally cause someone to forget the previous discussion of almost an hour. Unless that body that came down the stairs is now holding a different personality.
See? It’s weird. It’s like a SciFi movie. It’s like the body snatchers have taken the person away and replaced it with this OTHER thing.
And that’s true! That’s kind of what happens. For whatever reason, the person that has this disorder will at times become frightened, feel threatened, or have a memory that causes the current personality to “make way” for a new or existing personality to step forward and be in control. It’s very similar to “Chinese Fire-Drill” driving. You are all still in the car together, but at some point you stop the car and change places.
More on this in a later post; this much to say, it’s fine if it is weird, crazy or bizarre sounding to you. It is to me too, and I live with it. And for those doctors that don’t believe in the condition; well, they have that show “Wife Swap”…you could always try a swap and live with someone who “claims” to have the disorder and see what it’s like for a while.
OK, so keep you posted on the coming additions, and the page will be live just EMPTY for now! :(
except for this 😀
Have you seen all those facebook quizzes that people take? “What mineral would you be?” “If you were a dog, what breed would you be?” “Take this quiz to find out what Beatles band member you are most like!” I mean, there are only four of them, we can’t all be summed up into four people. Well, five, if you include that first kid.
Anyway, these stupid quizzes are silly and meaningless, and yet sometimes fun and exactly what you need on a particular day. And some of them are particularly ON. And my response is, ummm, WHOA. That is intense and really deep. I totally KNEW I would be Inigo Montoya!
But what do you do when you don’t like the “character” you turn out to be?
Today I was reading a fiction book, and I came across a character in the story line that made me go, “huh. what a friggin’ bitch!” The main character in my story is an American fellow who is living in London shortly after the Ripper murders have claimed their victims. Main character meets up with a woman during the course of an investigation, and WHOA, this is one tough biddy. This lady has a hard and crunchy shell, but we aren’t really certain there is any yummy gooey center. She has obviously had a difficult life (which is proven out) and has therefore had to toughen up and develop a layer of skin so thick that she is more of a tire than a person. And yes, she has helpful information for the detective in the story, but she is so caustic and controlling, so pushy and proud, so damn removed from human emotions, that I found myself HATING the character.
And then five hours later, it hits me: I’m kind of this woman!
Oh I’m not a bitch. No one that knows me at all would really use that word to describe me. I actually care about people quite a lot. But so does this character. She cares about all kinds of people, especially low life, underprivileged folk. And she tries to help them. But she has been burned so badly in areas of her life that she is now Automaton Woman.
And here I am, going through something in my life that I have gone to great lengths to try to avoid, and I realize I’m trying to avoid it so hard because it makes me feel. It makes me hurt. It makes me human; and apparently I don’t deal with that soft side of life very well either.
I don’t like her! And I don’t want to be her! So what do I do when I find that the character I turn out to be completely sucks!? I mean, where is the “retake this test?” button for the real life questions???
But still, maybe if I had known somehow, how tiring it would be. How mentally un-invigorating it was. Maybe if I’d known that it would make me want to sleep for days, or drink for weeks, or consider taking several illicit drugs at once, maybe I could have prevented my mental instability in the first place. Then again, it’s not like you can explain the pros and cons of creativity versus insanity to a three year old. But it’s a nice idea, to think about what it might be like to have a life where you are not constantly drained of energy and life force. To have a day when you aren’t scrambling to figure out what your own brain is thinking, or where your own thoughts are going. To have a day where you remember what your agenda was, and how to do difficult tasks like walking in a straight line, or breathing through your nose. It’s a challenge just to stay employed when you would rather be playing video games, or watching cartoons on TV while you remain in your pajamas all day and eat nothing but ice cream and pizza. And maybe a bowlful of Doritos. It’s a bit of a stretch to answer questions like “what’s wrong?” or “how are you doing?” when you honest-to-god don’t know the answer. How do you explain to people that you are just a ten year old in a forty year old woman’s body?
So back to the exhausting part. God I feel like I haven’t slept in weeks. People have commented on how bad I look this week, which is always flattering, and even though I’ve felt sick and wondered about having the flu, I reckon it’s mostly lack of sleep. And my therapist says I have dark circles under my eyes that she’s never seen before. Of course she has only known me for about a year, so she isn’t familiar with this routine. The insomnia. The monthly cycles of sleep/don’t sleep; stay up ‘till the Wicked hours of the night, then sleep ‘till noon; go to bed early and wake up too soon and not be able to fall asleep at night. She doesn’t know about these familiar habits; or at least we haven’t emphasized them much to her. She seems to think we need to take our meds, and see our doctor, and maybe that will help. I tried to tell her. I tried to explain that what I needed was a good pint of tequila, or a shot of whiskey, or even just a couple of beers. She laughs. “No, that won’t be good for work,” she says. Who said anything about work? I said BEER. I’m sure I enunciated it properly. B-EE-EEE-R.
I don’t know why they haven’t come up with a discount rate for insomniacs or crazies, verifiable by one’s therapist. I’d like to present a coupon to my nearest liquor store worker: “This Coupon entitles the Bearer to the largest possible bottle of Tequila on the Premises. Said Bearer will receive a 25% discount on purchase of such Bottle, owing to a lack of mental awareness which only said Tequila can replenish. Please consider this a Medicinal Purchase, and Frequent Drinker Miles apply. In dire situations, Beer of choice may be substituted for Tequila, but must then be accompanied by several packs of cigarettes or containers of Hookah tobacco. For any questions regarding the validity of this coupon, or the seriousness of the Bearer’s insanity, first
1. Look at Bearer of Coupon.
2. Notice dazed look on face and vacant expression in eyes.
3. Note the rocking back and forth motion as Bearer re-counts money in pocket for a fourth time.
4. If all else does not convince you, ask for card and number of therapist and call immediately.
i haven’t been much on my Accidental Happiness blog for quite some time. i don’t want to make myself out to be a liar, you know. it’s a lot to live up to; the title. i could see it as a mission statement of my life, as though i’ve commissioned myself to go forth and capture all the unexpected good things that are out there glimmering hope into the dark and dreary world, and sit and ponder them over a good cup of coffee and share them with all of mankind.
and that’s a good thing. and i do that! i find little awesome things that bring me sudden joy, that other people walk right by and fail to notice. i share and post when i come across all those things on the internet that make you cry your eyes out; stories of strangers helping out homeless vets, and children saving puppies from destruction. but lately my “spontaneous happiness” and my “grim reality” have been duking it out in the ring, and i’m very uncertain who’s going to get the KO.
my friend at work (hey you!) likes to say this before she goes in: “Well folks, time to go make doughnuts”. i’m not sure where that came from or why she started saying it – cuz she doesn’t make doughnuts for a living. but that’s how i feel i’ve been living forever: going in circles, trying to sugar coat everything. something difficult happens, and i find the sliver lining, the chance to grow in the situation. someone blows up in my face, and i try to calm them down and steer them to a calmer level, make them feel they’ve been heard, understood, and when they apologize i just say, hey we all have bad days. the whole “when someone hands me lemons, i make lemonade” rule. it seems like i’ve been that way forever.
but the reality is this: i’m a darker brew than just that. i might even be a Palmer. you know, half lemonade half tea. good thing he came up with that whole flavor marriage, and how is it possible no one thought of that before? or did he just market it first?
anyway, not my point. the point is, life is kind of a bad dance class. it’s all two steps forward, three steps back, a stiletto on the instep and an emergency ride to hospital.
something out there – Hollywood, Sweet Valley High, or an angry, violent, alcoholic parent – has convinced me that there is an eventual happy ending to the story. that if i am good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, or positive enough, life will right itself and give me all my dreams tied up in a pretty bow. but there are ants on every picnic, and thorns on every rose, and believe it or not, i’ve actually cut my fingers on ribbon before, so even my pretty dreams might eventually injure me.
my life right now is full of trying to merge the side of me that seeks love, happiness, fulfillment and joy with the side of me that is stark reality, depressive, prone to cutting and emotionally unstable.
so my accidental happiness blog may seem more like a dark hole for an indiscernible amount of time…but there is much beauty and worth in the pits of man, and i intend to find it.
look out Darth Vadar; i’m coming to the dark side.